New Ethernet Adapter for Amazon Fire TV sticks & New Dongle

Hey folks -

If you haven’t been glued to the interweb this afternoon, Amazon announced a new dongle-style streamer that will arrive next month:

What is of special interest to current Amazon Fire TV stick owners is the new Ethernet adapter that will work both with this new dongle, and existing Fire TV sticks:

If you’ve had issues streaming high def content from Tablo or from other streaming services to your AFTV stick, this Ethernet adapter could do the trick!

I am not sure if I really like the new design of this new Fire TV. Seems to be a slight step backwards when comparing to the Gen 2 Fire TV.

When comparing to the Gen 2 Fire TV, this new Fire TV has:

Slower processor (Quad-core 1.5GHz vs Quad-core 2.0GHz)
Less powerful GPU (new one uses the same GPU as the current Fire TV Stick)
No USB slot
No MicroSD slot
No Ethernet

So far the only advancement I see in this new product is HDR support, which I don’t believe the current Fire TV box supports. I use to have 2 Fire TV Sticks because the price tag was very attractive. However, having no Ethernet was killing me with a 3100 sq ft house and wifi dead spots. I then switched to the Fire TV boxes with the 4K support. While more expensive it was a much more enjoyable experience. The faster and more powerful “box” was very noticeable and having an Ethernet connection solved all my issues in terms of buffering and weak wifi signal. You can add an Ethernet dongle to the new Fire TV for $15 but with the $70 price tag for the Fire TV, you come to the same price as if you just bought a Fire TV box instead.

I am not sold on the design as well. The HDMI cable is too short to have the device sit firmly on your TV stand so you end up with just little box just dangling behind your TV. Maybe that’s fine, just seems weird to me.

I do think the Ethernet adapter makes sense if you already have a Fire TV Stick and are not getting the best wifi signal. $15 to solve any potential wifi issues is a no brainer.

This seems to be the mid-range option… There are rumors afoot of a new box-style unit that will be coming later this year or early next. (Perhaps a CES thing?)

That would give three Fire TV options: stick, 4K dongle, 4K box with Amazon Echo support.

That ‘Boxee’ throwback look is the one I’m waiting for. Fire TV, Alexa, and with the IR emitter, it is like getting a Fire TV, Alexa device, and Harmony Hub all rolled into one unit.